New government must fully back push for 100% renewables, say Greens

The next UK Government must fully support the push for 100% of energy to be provided by renewable sources, the Scottish Greens have said.

Speaking on the eve of polling day, the party’s co-leader, Lorna Slater, said climate change is “the most urgent and severe” problem to face the Prime Minister – whoever it may be – after July 4.

“Of all the issues that the next Prime Minister will face, the climate crisis is the most urgent and severe,” she said.

“The destruction of our environment and our natural world are accelerating.

“We can all see this in our own lives – and from the daily reports of extreme weather and extinctions around the globe.”

Ms Slater, who has spent this week campaigning in the Highlands and Islands, added: “Scotland has leading green businesses, skilled workers, and incredible natural resources, but to take this opportunity and build a world-leading green economy we need the next UK Government to make the scale of investment that is needed and get 100% behind the drive for 100% renewables.

“Throughout this campaign the Scottish Greens have put forward bold solutions to the climate crisis.

“We are proposing a £28 billion a year Green New Deal to invest in the clean green industries of the future.”

There is a “huge opportunity” for Scotland and the UK in renewable energy, providing jobs and economic activity during the transition away from fossil fuels, she said.

But Scottish Tory net zero spokesman, Douglas Lumsden, said: “We all want a just transition to net zero but you don’t achieve that by abandoning tens of thousands of oil and gas jobs in the North Sea and ruling out nuclear energy, as the Greens and the SNP are intent on doing.

“We don’t yet have enough renewables on stream to meet our energy needs, so the illogical position of the Greens and the SNP would shatter north-east communities and force us to import fossil fuels with a far greater carbon footprint from overseas.”

Shadow Scottish secretary Ian Murray said: “Labour is the only party with a credible, fully-funded plan to address the climate challenge head on while creating 69,000 clean energy jobs.

“Labour will set a publicly-owned energy company, GB Energy, paid for by a windfall tax on oil and gas giants and creating jobs while boosting our energy security and cutting bills.

“A Labour government with Scottish MPs at its heart will transform Scotland into a clean energy superpower and secure jobs for this generation and the next.”